Mask registrations take place across the city
More than 2.17 million households across Shanghai, or 26.25 percent of the city's permanent population households, had finished registration of facial mask purchase as of 5pm on Sunday, the city's civil affairs authorities announced on Sunday night.
A total of 6,077 neighborhood and village committees at 215 subdistricts across the city started registrations for mask purchase from Sunday, and the first round will run through February 11.
The plan seeks to prevent long queues forming outside pharmacies. For this round, each household is allowed to make only one registration and buy five masks at designated pharmacies on a first-come, first-served basis.
It is expected that all households with mask purchase demand in the city can have their demand registered within four days based on the first day situation, the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau said.
At 8:30am in the Hetai Garden residential area in downtown Jing’an District, there was hardly anyone at the designated registration spot.
“This spot is in Hetai Garden, but people living in the nearby Jiaju Building can also register. Staff will check the temperature of people from Jiaju as well as their identities before they are allowed into Hetai,” said Chen Yunchen, head of the neighborhood committee.
At the registration spot committee workers check people’s temperatures and ID. After verification, residents receive purchase vouchers with an order number, pharmacy address and a stamp of the committee from another desk.
The committee has taken steps to prevent overcrowding during registration. “We asked people to register during off-peak hours and have chosen a spacious and well-ventilated waiting area on the ground floor,” said Chen.
“If too many people come, we will consider online registration, too,” Zhang Lizhen, a committee member, said.
After receiving purchase tickets people wait for a call to notify them to go to the pharmacy and get their masks.
Chen, an 80-year-old woman, told Shanghai Daily, “I totally agree with the idea of the registration because it is much more convenient than going to buy masks in pharmacies. And the registration process only took me two minutes.
“And there are not many people here. If it had been crowded, I would just have gone back home.”
A similar scene unfolded in Yuyuan Road, where, at 7:30am on Sunday, officials from Siming neighborhood committee put up tables and chairs as they prepared for registration. About 10 residents had already arrived.
Zhang Haiyan, head of the neighborhood committee, said: “At 10am every day, the pharmacy will tell us how many masks will be available and we will call those on the list to take their masks. If they don’t pick up the phone, someone will visit them.”
Siming is one of the most dynamic old neighborhoods in Shanghai. Its 1930s Spanish-style villas are home to about 1,500 families. Many residents are aged over 60, around 200 of whom live alone.
The Shimen No. 2 Road Subdistrict already allows residents to register online via WeChat account or walk to register in person.
Online appointment started at 8:30am on Sunday and within five minutes, more than 200 families registered. Around 2,000 registrations were made in the first two and half hours.
The Linfen Road Subdistrict has a mini program on WeChat, allowing residents register by scanning QR code. Within five minutes, 1,200 had scanned the code.
Designated pharmacies will send the masks to the neighborhoods, and thus residents can buy them on their doorsteps.
For the senior citizens and disabled residents, neighbors are helping out.
“Elders living alone, especially the bed-ridden, need extra help,” resident Zhou said.
Two other residents, Ni and Zhang, know sign language and have helped deaf residents to make appointments.